§ Mr. Bidwell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will bring the payment of the increase for pensioners forward from 24 November next, in view of the fact that this date is two 83W weeks later than the payment of the annual increase last year.
§ Mrs. Chalker
No. An unintentional effect of the provisions of the Social Security Act 1975 has been that the date for increasing benefits has been creeping forward. But for the provisions of the Social Security Bill now before Parliament, the date would have crept forward this year a whole week from 17 November, the date in 1975, to 10 November. The Bill therefore provides for the up-rating to take place before the end of November.
In the present difficult economic situation, and with the urgent need for restraint in public expenditure, the Government consider it necessary to defer this year's uprating until the week beginning 24 November. This uprating will take full account of the estimated movement in prices since the previous up-rating in November 1979.